Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Karma's a bitch with a gold tooth. And today she brought pudding for snack.

1pm, Teacher's Desk, some elementary school in this state:

I think I jinxed myself with yesterday's entry. A few days ago, didn't I say "Karma's a bitch with a gold tooth." Today, she came to class with Jello Pudding.

The morning went totally great... until snack.

The assistant principal had JUST come in to see me and asked me specifically how this one kid was doing. Yesterday I found him to be taxing, but brilliant and fun. Today he just was surly and didn't want to listen at all.

We had a kid in today who was out yesterday, whom I shall refer to as Kid One. He doesn't mix well with this particular boy, whom shall be known as Kid Two. I was told that the two of them were going to give me problems when I got here yesterday, and when Kid One wasn't here yesterday I was thrilled. The day turned out great.

The two of them got into a disagreement about a Pokemon book. Kid One decided the Kid Two had had the Pokemon book long enough. Kid Two disagreed. They argued about it, and after I broke up the argument once by telling them to settle it and come to a mutually acceptable agreement or I was going to take the book myself, Kid Two FREAKS out.

He grabs his snack, which was a small plastic container of Jello chocolate pudding, and whips it Pedro Martinez style at the whiteboard in the front of the room, about eight feet away, four feet higher than he is tall, and at an angle.

The angle causes the pudding to splatter lengthwise across the whiteboard,

sending pudding




He then runs out of the room screaming down the hall.

Holy mother of God, I'm hit by PUDDING! Good thing this wasn't middle school or I'd've maybe been shot. Who knows. All the other kids were stunned.

One started laughing "Oh man! Look at all that pudding!!!"

Yeah. Look at all that pudding.

A six ounce container of chocolate pudding goes a long, long way. Luckily for me, there was a parent here in the class. She volunteers to work with the slower readers a couple times a week, and was cleaning up from what they were working on. She informed me that this kid has a tendency to run out of school and keep running, so she suggested I get off after him and she'd start cleaning and keep an eye on the class.

Initially, I didn't know what to do, thought he was maybe just in the hallway or something, and my reaction time was really slow. I couldn't imagine what I'd do if he were all the way out the end of the building and sprinting across the field up the road to New Hampshire.

So I went out in the hall, and he was coming out of the bathroom. He started towards me and then turned to run, but I was right there and put a hand on his shoulder. I asked him to sit on the floor in the hall, and I sat too and talked with him about what he did.

I told him there are two things you don't do. The first is you don't fight over a book that belongs to the class -- you share it or the book will disappear. The second is you don't throw pudding.


So he apologized to me. He explained to me that Kid number One (who happens to be another A named kid, too) had just taken the book away and determined for himself that the book was in kid number two's possession too long, since December, and that he'd had it long enough. Sort of a vigilante justice thing.

So the pudding incident just kind of was his only reaction.

The co-teacher came in to get the special reading kids, and the mom helper and I were cleaning up all the pudding. She ended up yoinking Kid Two down to the office so he spent the day in the Assistant Principal's office and I sent worksheets down for him to do, and I brought him his jacket and his backpack, which had pudding all on the inside of it because earlier that day someone had stepped on his jacket and cracked the seal on the jello pudding container inside the damn thing...

The assistant principal commended me with a "I bet you wanted to smear it all over him didn't you?" and a smirk. I told him that I didn't... it was all good. I feel bad for this kid. He's at once the smartest, funniest and sweetest kid, and then WHAM! Fucks you up old school with six ounces of brown gelatinous goo.

I don't think the white board will ever be the same. I had to throw out the Valentine's Day hearts that were pinned up on the side of the board (they took a direct hit). Cleaning up took forever, and it was no help that all the other kids wanted to help. "Mrs. G. There's pudding on the bookcase," says one girl. "Yes, I see it." "Mrs G., there's pudding on your sweater." "No shit sherlock. I know. I'll get to it later." "Mrs. G., do you want me to get you a paper towel?" "No thanks kid."

My quotes are of course not quotes.

I had them sit at their desks with their arms folded and heads down and told them not to say a peep until the mom helper and I were done cleaning. They listened. We then went straight into another activity. I didn't think they weathered it poorly, they were cool. I was cool. All the pudding was clean... except my sweater. I told them I'd clean it while they were at gym where they are now. But I felt the need to get this down right away.

My God.

Second day teaching ever and I'm splattered with chocolate pudding and I didn't call the office immediately when this happened.

I had to give a full report and statement to the school counselor. I gave the kids a worksheet to do while I was out in the hall with her giving my statement. She told me Kid Two's mom would be made to buy me another sweater. Uh, not necessary, it's a cotton sweater. It'll wash clean and perfect. But she said it is school policy.

All the teachers are talking about it right now. The story of how poor Mrs. Geiger was hit by pudding shrapnel. I have to wash my sweater off while I still have about a half hour to myself. This afternoon we have another math thing to do, and a movie to watch. Where'd I put the movie??? I can't find it anywhere. Goddamnit!

Doug had a good laugh at me, or I should say towards me, for the pudding story. He told his boss. I'm sure the story is spreading like a weed through school systems across all of Northeastern Massachusetts.

I'm really wiped out so I'll draw this to a close. I am catering tomorrow, but they asked me to come back to the school and sub again for the same class. I had to turn them down, because I'd agreed to do the catering gig first. Oh well. I have to call the Bible Study lady and let her know I'm catering and won't be going with her... I'm sure she is wondering.

Well. I have beer to drink and I deserve it. I'm going to go see if anyone will rub my back and make me feel less wounded. Stupid pudding incident.

More later.

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